Internet Of Things (IOT)
Internet Of Things (IOT) is a network of gadgets, vehicles, and other objects using sensors, software, and the internet to communicate and exchange data with each other. This network is used to command and accomplish tasks that are too complicated for the human mind or too costly to make an error, like a life-saving surgery.
Internet and the World Wide Web have thrown open an array of possibilities for information exchange and collaboration. Distance has reduced and so has the time taken to get your point across. Technology has developed so far as to aspire for driverless cars and doctor-less surgeries with robots.
The sudden explosion of data-driven technology has only increased the scope for IOT. From using IOT in daily life applications like automating the door-locks in homes and setting the ambiance according to demand to using it in companies to manufacture goods and provide services, IOT finds a place in many things.
- Manufacturing industries : Manufacturing involves many processes that are repetitive and requires a high level of precision in terms of timing and measurements. Using sensors and pre-programmed tools, the chances of errors can be cut down to a large extent. IoT helps companies do exactly what is needed for an output with assured quality. This is relevant in these times when companies are moving towards quality assurance concepts like Six Sigma and Total Quality Management (TQM).
- Agriculture : Agriculture also leverages IoT where networked devices give accurate data about weather and soil quality which are of utmost importance for a good yield. Depending on technologies like IoT, countries can plan their sectoral output on a macro level and farmers can make informed decisions at the micro level. An added advantage of using IoT in the agricultural sector would be the expert advice received from far and wide on cultivation, crop rotation, and soil and water management.
- Energy Conservation : With IOT one can set timers for energy-guzzling devices like the water-heaters and other thermal devices to power-off at a specific time. This contributes to energy conservation, which can be channelized for more productive purposes.
- Branding and marketing : Branding and marketing have used IoT since long. Earlier companies like Google and Facebook captured the browser history of the user and pushed advertisements based on the browsing and search history of the user. But with the influx of sensors, voice recognition and digital personal assistants like Siri, Google Allo and now Amazon Alexa, marketers capture what is being spoken by the user and push advertisements based on the words spoken by them.
- Medicine and Healthcare : As mentioned earlier, lack of qualified and skilled medical personnel has forced people to look for efficient alternatives. Healthcare is one sector which cannot be neglected owing to lack of human resources. IOT helps to bridge that gap and provide skilled services that require extreme precision and takes a longer time. Errors arising due to surgeon’s fatigue can be prevented. Also, devices like fitness bands are already doing their part in pushing people to become more aware of their body and their surroundings by having applications that monitor the heartbeat and the sleep cycle.
- Transportation : IOT is also slowly taking over the transportation sector. From programming the time of stoppage in metro trains to installing advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems in Airplanes and ships, interconnected devices and sensors play a dominant role. Safety of the drivers and passengers are already governed by devices that can send and receive information from each other. Apart from that, we are inching closer and closer to the dream that is driverless cars.
One of the major concerns about adapting to IOT in our daily lives is the privacy of the devices involved and of the people using the devices. Especially when you find ads on your Facebook feed based on your conversation with your spouse earlier that morning, with just your phone with you, it gets creepy. With the contemporary world blowing apart on issues related to privacy infringement and network security, it remains to be seen what more can be done in this realm to make the users feel secure. Also, since IOT is a relatively new technology, which is constantly evolving and growing every day, it is more prone to newer loopholes and threats. People working on IOT are also in the race to closing the loopholes by various methods, but just like viruses that attack computer systems around the world, these threats are considered a normal part of a robust ecosystem.
Another major issue faced by IOT networks is the compatibility of the devices in the network and the risk of them becoming obsolescent. Technology, in itself, is a dynamic domain. The risk of devices and the inbuilt software on which the devices are developed becoming outdated looms large over IOT enthusiasts. To tide over this practical issue, one might have to standardise the hardware and the software in such a way as to offer maximum fluidity with minimum hassles.
IOT is an emerging technology. As our technology intrudes our lives, it is only natural to think of using that technology to make lives easier.